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Testing for Drugs

Applicants can be denied employment due to their present usage of drugs or addictive alcohol habits. However, federal law prohibits from discriminating against applicants

  • who have been successfully rehabilitated from their past abuse of alcohol or drugs and who no longer abuse alcohol or drugs,
  • who currently participate in a rehabilitation program and no longer abuse alcohol or drugs, or
  • who are rumored to have abused alcohol or drugs but did not actually abuse them and do not currently abuse them.

The recruiter is not allowed to consider past abuse of alcohol or drugs at the time of hiring, and the applicant can raise objections on being asked about past abuse at the time of an interview or on a job application.

The law on drug testing varies from state to state. Employers have the right to test new job applicants for traces of drugs,

  • when applicants know that drug testing will be part of the screening process for new employees,
  • when the employer has already offered a job to the applicant,
  • when all applicants for the same job are tested similarly,
  • and when the tests are administered by a statecertified laboratory.
know your rights now!